Fall happens to be one of my favorite seasons and all the fragrant spices that accompany it. All the seasons are special, but what’s not to love about beautiful fall colors, heart-warming holidays, and delicious warming fall foods such as soups, stews, squashes, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, apples, and pears? And, that includes beautiful fall spices.
Delicious and Good For You: Warming Fall Spices
We know that spices not only make our food taste delicious but also provide phytonutrients and antioxidants that may improve chronic health issues such as cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and improve your overall mood.
Most of us have heard about the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin which is in turmeric, but what about these other spices? Well, here’s a rundown of what you can expect if you add these warming fall spices to your meals.
To discover more, watch Dr. Michael Greger’s video on which spices fight inflammation.
Allspice tastes like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper and comes from the dried berries of the allspice tree. It’s usually used in its ground form in both sweet and savory dishes. Allspice may relieve pain, ease stomach upset, and destroy bacteria and fungus. Compounds in allspice are also being investigated for use in the treatment of cancer and hypertension (1)
Cinnamon seems to be the king of the warming fall spices and there are several different types. The most common type, cassia, is believed to help blood sugar levels but unfortunately contains some toxic components. It’s advised to use Ceylon cinnamon instead. However, Ceylon cinnamon does not have blood sugar-lowering benefits.
There are other benefits linked to cinnamon, including being a potent antioxidant. Cinnamon also has anti-fungal, anti-virus, and anti-tumor properties and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Dr. Michael Greger from Nutritionfacts.org recommends a teaspoon a day.
Did you know that cloves have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties? They also help boost digestion, control blood sugar by improving insulin production, helps with weight loss, and can help your mental state by soothing anxiety, as well. According to Dr. Michael Greger, from nutritionfacts.org, “ just a small pinch can double someone’s daily dose of antioxidants.”
Ginger rivals cinnamon as a super antioxidant. It’s known to help with circulation and reduce the pain of arthritis and menstrual cramps. Ginger is high in potassium, magnesium, manganese, and vitamins B6 and C, and is also known for relieving upset stomach and motion sickness.
Nutmeg likewise has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It may also boost your mood, improve blood sugar and benefit your heart. Large doses of nutmeg are not recommended but it’s rarely used in larger quantities.
Be sure to try these recipes which have plenty of warming, healthy fall spices.
Jumpstart Fall with Healthy Warming Spices
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Pumpkin pie has all of these delicious fall spices and this pumpkin pie smoothie includes the same. By combining a cup of pumpkin puree with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger you get the benefits of the spices plus some groovy pumpkin nutrition: vitamins C and E, which boost immunity and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Ginger Hot Cocoa
Cocoa products have been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke so why not try this superfood hot cocoa drink to help decrease inflammation? Ginger and turmeric are the main ingredients.
A healthy breakfast treat with all that wholesome pumpkin nutrition, these pancakes are sure to delight your guests and are easy enough to make weekly.
Low Fat Cinnamon Nut Granola
This granola is made without any added oils so you can feel great about enjoying it for breakfast or as a snack. The warming cinnamon spice is there for flavor as well as a boost of nutrition.
Pumpkin Chia Pudding (video)
Chia seeds in this recipe add essential omega-3s to your diet. This pudding can easily be made before dinner because it sets up so quickly. Blend with your favorite plant milk, a little maple syrup, and pumpkin puree and it’s almost done. Cool for about 30 minutes and you’ve got a festive fall dessert.
Turmeric Ginger Iced Tea
More anti-inflammatory goodness in this iced turmeric ginger beverage. Adding a pinch of ground black pepper makes all that good stuff in turmeric and ginger even more bioavailable.
Continuing on the pumpkin theme! You can dip your favorite sliced vegetables in this special hummus or try something sweet such as apple. Made from canned chickpeas and pumpkin puree, this is a quick and easy appetizer for fall.
Moroccan Spiced Vegan Eggnog
Here’s a treat for any special holiday celebration made without eggs or dairy—a delightful addition to your table flavored with allspice, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, and cloves.
Chai Spice Apple Muffins
The chai spice in these chai spiced apple muffins is made with fall spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and ground ginger. A perfect autumn snack or dessert.
Moroccan Chickpea Vegetable Tagine
The ginger and cinnamon in this recipe along with coriander make this savory dish sing. It's a perfect meal for a holiday celebration.
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